Dealing with toxic people in life is a great challenge.
Especially if those toxic people are family.
There really isn't an easy answer or solution to make it all go away.
Each situation is unique and often very complicated.
As someone who has had some very toxic relationships in her life, I am a big believer in staying away from people who are toxic to us in any way, shape or form.
Nobody, no person, no relative, no one at all has the right to make you feel or treat you like you are less than you are. People who constantly criticise you, hurt you in any way or try to make you live your life according to how they believe you should are toxic.
To help protect myself over the years and to focus more on having healthy relationships in my life, I have been proactive in removing people who are toxic to me. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and you deserve to have positive, supportive relationships.
Now I know in an emotional/mental/spiritual context this might not sound like the right type of attitude to have towards people - I am not saying we don't need to be forgiving, kind, compassionate, loving and respectful.
We do. I encourage that type of attitude and behaviour.
Generally, I feel I try hard to be all of those above.
I like people.
I like to be with people.
I like to have good healthy relationships.
The reality of life is that you are not going to get along with everyone all the time.
You will have personality clashes with people in life and even with family members.
To deal with this reality, I like to give people chances.
I play the 'It Could Be' game....
It could be they were having a bad day.
It could be they are under a lot of pressure.
It could be because of depression.
It could be they have very low self esteem.
It could be they are hurting.
It could be they just don't know the full story.
If after giving a few chances and playing the 'It Could Be' game and someone is still not treating me what I would call a healthy relationship would equal...they are toxic.
I love the example Bec shared on my facebook page:
A psychologist taught me the "Three chances and you're OUT" technique. He likened it to a game of tennis...You're playing nicely with someone, then they start making you run for the ball...They make you chase the ball hard, it's not a friendly game. It's not fun for you. Eventually they hit a shot that makes you fall...You get hurt...You pick yourself up.You think..."I'm sure they didn't mean it"...And keep playing. This happens again, and you give them the benefit of a doubt. Third time...the games over... Dont "play" with that person any more.
If someone is toxic to me it means:
I will be polite to you,
I will speak to you if I have to and that is as far as it goes.
When this happens I don't dwell on it.
I simply register them in my mind as toxic and move on.
I continue to live my life and enjoy time with family and friends who I have a healthy relationship with. This is of course, much more difficult if you live with someone who is toxic. Seeking some form of professional help would be best in helping to deal with this situation.
You will come across toxic people in life.
It is acceptable to remove toxic people from you life.
You are in control of the relationships you have in life.
You will not get along with everyone in your life.
Of course, obviously...I also look at if I am the problem and what I may be doing to contribute to a toxic relationship. There is generally, always something that we can personally improve on as well.
I also totally get that to other people I may be toxic.
I have had enough blog readers let me know just how toxic I am to them.
They move on and so do I.
There is so much more I could say on this topic but for now I hope it will get you thinking about the relationships you have in your life and remind you that you deserve to be surrounded with love and support.
If after trying everything and it simply isn't working out for you...you could always place them on the dead list...but, that is a blog post for another day :)